How An Empty Bag Launched Jo Malone’s Career In The US




Jo Malone is synonymous with beautiful scents and luxurious packaging. But it hasn’t always been that way, when she started out in the US she only had 1,000 bags and no marketing budget. And with a store launch imminent, she was convinced she would fail.

“I sat there in a hotel room thinking: ‘I am going to fail, what am I going to do?” she said. So she enlisted the help of fifty friends and acquaintances and used those empty bags as free marketing. She gave out empty bags and asked people to walk around fashionable districts with her bags every time they left their homes. “We called it walking the dogs,” she said.

The bags were recognized in New York, and when the store finally opened, people already believed there already a store and that the brand was already quite exclusive. “When you are an entrepreneur and you have no money you have to think and you have to turn on a sixpence. I don’t think it was deceptive. I would salute anybody who uses creativity in a unique and different way.”

They do say you should fake it until you make it, and Jo really embraced that. Her story is quite inspiring, she generated a buzz around her product before the store launched, and used a line of bags to pique the interest of shoppers in certain districts.

So what do you think about this?

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Managing Editor

Beth is the Managing Editor of CGD. She is a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy, has published a short story and loves to read creative writing manuals in her spare time.

  • Emily Hight

    This is INCREDIBLE! What a unique marketing idea!

  • Robyn Unsworth

    Amazing idea and story!

  • Elishia

    This is great! I love the Jo Malone scents and totally covet a bag… if she wants to try the same technique on the Upper Westside of Manhattan I’m in!!! Although… probably not needed though…

  • Olga Baker

    Genius! Enjoyed reading this so much! Thank you, Beth!

  • Sabrina Wharton-Brown

    Very cool! That’s using your initiative! :)

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